Fearless Reason

Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

Category: Uncategorized

All is New

All is new
All is old

I am becoming
I am dying

I remember
I forget

I awaken
I sleep

I am
I am not.

Love Requires the Community of Lovers

Love requires the community of lovers. Alone it shrivels and dies. Perhaps some rare saints and perfect beings can love in the absence of love. But I am not a perfect being. Alone, my heart grows heavy then numb. In the community of lovelessness, I become loveless.

Love requires the community of lovers to stay alive in my heart. It needs gurus of love, who exemplify vulnerability, giving without expectation of return, and abundance. I can rely neither on god nor my own efforts to learn the lessons of love.

Much has been given to me by grace and self-discipline, but my heart requires the community of lovers. Truly, love cannot be learned from god nor the inward directed gaze alone. It must be received from your fellow beings, then freely given, without expectation of return.

A Great Turning

When I began this blog in November, 2011 I was an atheist, and wanted a place to espouse the virtues of rationalism. That led to several diatribes over the course of several months that extolled strength and the virtue of reason without passion. Then in 2012 I had a spiritual awakening that continues to transmute the dross of my being into the sublime bliss of our infinite and loving god. I followed reason down a rabbit hole of mysticism, and have lived in Wonderland ever since. As a result my posts have slowly shifted from diatribes to prose and poetry. My mind has slowly drifted from the analytical, to constant blessing and praise of the infinite mystery that is you and me.

With each new stage of my spiritual journey I revisit whether “Fearless Reason” is sill an appropriate name for this blog, and each time I quickly conclude it is more appropriate now than ever before. I began this journey as a rationalist and atheist, then in 2012 had an awakening that transformed me into a spiritual seeker and solitary mystic.

Over the years I have allowed god’s grace to transform me from the inside out. The bliss of my initial awakening has never left me. It is always with me, waiting to be noticed. Asking only that I turn my attention towards it and enter the divine embrace. At first this communion was limited to periods of meditation, but is increasingly an abiding companion. As a result, my prayers have been reduced to one: for sanctification and perfect union with the great mystery.

I have often thought that god hid from me until I was thoroughly enmeshed in the world in order to keep me out of a monastery or cave; and that also seems more true now than ever before. Throughout my journey I have continued to live the life of a  householder. I have practiced law, built a home, and found a mate. I have been extremely active in the world and honor my obligations to family, friends, and community. But along the way I have always had beating within me the great mantra and sublime bliss, growing ever louder, waiting to be noticed, and now impossible to ignore.

I am now at the beginning of yet another turning point. In recent years I have felt called to share something of what I have found with others. But the appropriate expression of that sharing has eluded me.

However, as I begin moving from solitary mystic towards spiritual community, the mode of that sharing and service are becoming more apparent. Increasingly I find myself in the midst of beautiful souls who wish only to see god; but karma, pain, and suffering hide him from their eyes. Yet by god’s grace and their willing heart, I can alleviate some of their burden. I can hold them in the stillness of my samadhi. I can take their karma and burn it in the fire of my love and bliss. No suffering is too great, no trauma too daunting. We can give it all to god.

Blessings to all the beautiful strangers and soulmates who have read this far. Pray that I have the strength to follow the path god has set me upon.

Namaste,

Zachary

I Once Was a Warrior

I once
was a
warrior
of great
self-importance.

A veteran
of countless
battles.

I fought
for my honor
my neighbors
and to save
the world.

I fought
always with
disappointment.

But soon
came to
crave
peace.

So I
surrendered.

My battle
unwon.

I forfeit
my honor
expectations
and desires.

And let
the world
that might be
burn.

Finally
I found
peace.

When I
let the
world be
as I found it.

Thus
the warrior
became
a mystic.

Transforming
disappointment
into
peace.

And
resistance
into
victory.

Not Just a Game

I am a native of Kentucky, and today my state swore in as governor a tea party darling who has vowed to wage war on my home. I know several gay and lesbian men and women serving in state government, who wept the night Matt Bevin was elected. They wept for their state, and for their own safety and livelihoods. I also know many environmentalists, myself included, who are heartbroken by the appointment of a coal executive to the Energy and Environment cabinet. We fear for the land, water, and air; we fear for humanity’s survival and the future of this state and the world outside of it. As a native of eastern Kentucky, I am also mournful. My heart goes out to those who barely get by, and will likely lose access to healthcare and other meager social services keeping them from the brink of the abyss. I also hurt for the miners in eastern Kentucky, who have been sold false tales of a war on coal, as the coal seams that fed my family for generations reach exhaustion, and gas prices make coal mining a losing proposition. They have been sold a false narrative, and will not get the assistance and retraining they need for a post coal economy. They will continue living in a fantasy-land of yesteryear, as jobs continue to diminish and they grow ever more poor and unprepared for a changing economy.

I know it isn’t polite to pretend politics is anything other than a game, where political offices are points on the board. But for the thousands of lives negatively affected by this election, I cannot treat this like a game. This was a triumph of fear, hate, and ignorance over decency and reason, so today I mourn for my old Kentucky home, and for those who must now live with the consequences.

Common Madness

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In the wake of the Paris attacks I have thought a lot about the madmen waging war on humanity. Many have adopted the mantra, do unto others as they do unto you. These warmongers in the West have made bellicose calls for war and vengeance, urging us to meet death with death, and terror with terror. These same voices call us to turn our backs on the refugees fleeing terror, choosing to paint victim and madman alike.

My heart breaks for humanity. My pain is for Paris, the refugees, warmongers, and madmen. We are one people, sharing a common humanity. We are citizens of Earth, and the problems of one are the problems of all. The same evil animates terrorists and right wing warmongers. I see the same lack of empathy and compassion. The same disregard and vilification of other-self. Both possess the erroneous notion that it is ever justifiable to kill, maim, and terrorize others. Both degrade the other to an object or demon, that must be exterminated and wiped from the face of the Earth. Never realizing they make war upon self.

The warmonger and terrorist are twin souls, infected by the same delusions. Neither will be exterminated until the delusion that justifies their behavior dies. War and terror will end when we start treating others as we would have them treat us, and recognize that harm to others is harm to self.

There are madmen among us waging war on humanity. They are terrorists waging jihad, and Western politicians making bellicose calls for war and vengeance. It is a common madness, that will end only when we recognize our selves in others. It will end, when we stop meeting violence and death in kind.

Grand Old Death Cult

The party of Lincoln, which led the fight to end slavery, has become a death cult that denies reason and worships money. Of course, the party of Lincoln did not really go away, nor did the southern Democrats who once championed slavery. No, they just switched parties. Johnson lost southern whites with the Civil Rights Act, and Nixon capitalized with his Southern Strategy. As a result, the Grand Old Party has become an unholy alliance between oligarchs, theocrats, poor whites, and libertarians.

These strange bedfellows all move to the beat of the oligarchs’ drum, driven by fear, hate and ignorance to achieve feudal rule. The libertarians cry for liberty, as they cut government to place themselves in privately owned chains. Poor whites yearn for a mythologized past and blame the less fortunate for their plight, as they vote for policies that compound their suffering. Then the theocrats long for the perennial fundamentalist dream- order in an incomprehensible world, because worldly problems are difficult and seemingly insurmountable, but God’s law is simple – and so they create hell on Earth. Those who advocate slavery did not go away, they just became more ambitious.

Fearless Reason Revisited

I named this blog fearless reason because I wanted it to be a place where the human mind could pursue objective truth. Given the limited faculties of the human machine (particularly those of this blogger) I knew this pursuit would be a never ending work in progress. With fearless reason, however, I hoped to make more headway in this pursuit than most.

As I review my infrequent posts over the last few years, however, I see that I have largely failed in this pursuit. I have been safe, tepid and measured. I have kept free thought to the confines of my mind, but have put to pen and paper only diplomatic abstractions. As a result I have written infrequently, and the byproduct has been fearful and circumspect. 

I am a critical, blunt and impatient man by nature, who through the cultivation of self-retraint has managed practiced congeniality. Though I continue to believe civility should be aspired to in most interactions, a kind tongue and a desire not to offend have no place here. We must be blunt and critical if we are to address the problems of the day. We must be fearless and rude in our pursuit of truth in the wilderness of lies and absurdity. 

Henceforth, I hope to rededicate myself to the mission of this blog. I will be fearless in my pursuit of reason, and perhaps in some small measure find truth. I will address current events, and not just theoretical abstractions. I will be fearless in my pursuit of reason, and will follow reason where reason will go.